All I can say is wow! These photos are so epic and are so amazing! They came out better than I could ever imagine! Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Mr. Elliott Whaley! He is a resident of St Petersburg Florida he is originally from Yeadon, Pennsylvania. He is a computer science engineer/ consultant and is a fitness coach, and a body builder as you can tell! In addition, to being a computer science engineer he has a B.S. and masters in computer science. Indeed he is a very smart man ha! I had the pleasure of shooting some fitness physique photos of him at Treasure Island Beach. Treasure Island beach is located in the city of St Petersburg, which is on the coast of Gulf of Mexico. We got up early to shoot despite me being late to shoot due to Tampa traffic and using GSP plus not really knowing where I was. Thanks to Elliott for being patient and understanding. Also, Elliott thanks for a wonderful shooting experience. You joked with my sister and me and made us feel welcomed as tourist. This is was first time EVER shooting on the beach and wont be my last! I’m looking forward to doing some more photo work with Elliott when I come back to St Pete next year!
Working with Mr. Ron Bibb model and skateboarder was so much fun! I got to shoot with him and his friend Mariah Raye. I also got to mentor and teach another young photographer in the process. Ron’s light eyes shine and glimmer in the light radiating in this images! He was so funny, fun, and patient as we shot in the smoldering summer heat! Thank God I brought ice cold water to help cool them down. Shoot took place downtown at Kentucky Center for the Arts.. He wants to shoot again… Until next time!
Traveling is considered a luxury for the rich and wealthy. People assume that you have to be loaded with money to travel. This is far from the truth for me anyways. To me, anyone can afford to travel. You just have to save and prioritize your money for it. December of 2015 I decided to plan a vacation for the summer. I wanted to go on a journey to a city and state that I’ve never been to before. I didn’t want to go too far and I wanted to go to a place that had a cheap flight. I thought about ATL be the traffic there is crazy! So, I had interest from one young man about shooting in South Carolina. I’d never been so I asked him what city has a nice places to shoot? He said “Greenville South Carolina. I was like what is that? I looked up the city and instantly feel in love with the natural beauty of the city. What city has a waterfall in the middle of downtown like really? Plus. The flight was like 300 something I was down!
I booked a rental car , hotel, and flight six months before my departure.
I didn’t go on this trip just to shoot sessions. I went to explore new territory . I wanted to expand my creative horizons. I wanted to shoot in a place that I normally wouldn’t have access to. So, Enjoy the landscape photography of this beautiful small city in South Carolina called Greenville!
Cant wait to go back next year!
Im so excited to be blogging my session with Jadia! OMG this shoot was everything! On, August 20th 2016! Me Jadia and his friend Javier did our photo-shoot in the beautiful Greenville South Carolina. I went there to explore the beautiful city and to refuel my creativity as a photographer. I grew bored of shooting the same things here in Louisville Ky. I wanted to branch out of my comfort zone and shoot in a place i've never been before. I needed this for me… We had so much fun riding around downtown and walking scouting locations as we shot here and there.. Jadia is so funny and is a humble down to earth guy. He is from California, but lives in Simpsonville SC which is about 17-20 mins from Greenville SC. Jadia from the bottom of my heart thank you so much for making my out of town shooting experience amazing! You are truly amazing! I know you have a big career ahead of you. Just watch!!! Anyways before I get all emotional and stuff enjoy all 41 final images for Jay’s shoot. He said he will come to the ville to shoot again and I will mos def come back to Greenville SC..
Starting your Photography Journey at the Bottom!
Starting anything from the ground up is a rigorous challenge. It takes passion to push your through the rough time of beginning photography. This is a business that is changing and evolving at a rapid pace. If you don’t conform to these constant changes you will be a distant memory! Keepinng up the latest styles and types of photography. then spinning those trends and make them special to you and your business. The struggle is real but the struggling won’t last always. The photography industry is not for the weak! You must have tough rumpled skin to deal with the realities of the industry. The realties are not everyone will like your work, not everyone is your client, not everyone can afford, and not everyone will value you as a photographer. Once, we realize these things and brush them off and focus on our target client’s that will not only our work but, love as a person we will succeed to new heights!
Before you succeed you’re going to struggle period! Various failures we equate to your success. Expect to miss-focus, over expose your images, and under expose your images. Making mistakes is fine as long as your learn from them and approve upon them. The best way to conquer the struggle of manipulating your images is by learning how to shoot in manual model . What i mean by practice is shoot your dog, your cousins, random children, etc. Get your butt out there and use your gear and experiment! When I started I struggled, but I pushed myself and kept shooting over and over. Until I became competent at taking great photographs and learned posing and directing!
Bokeh is not everything!
Although Bokeh is great it’s beautiful and makes your photos look like art and it simplifies your composition it’s not everything! Blurry backgrounds are dope only if the eyes and face are in focus! Not every image requires bokeh to draw focus to the subject. Another way to draw interest in your photograph is to pose your subject according to the direction of light. Typically the viewer’s eyes go to where the light is in the image. Consider composition when deciding when you should blur the background if there are no distracting elements in the background there is no need to blur it. Also, you can move things out of the background to make the elements in your photos less distracting.
I got to admit it’s hard to learn posing, but in my humble opinion you don’t learn it. Posing or poses depend greatly on what the client or model is wearing and what location they are at. To me, it’s important to get several frames from one pose and shot it a different angles. Or, to make minor adjustments of movements to change the pose ever so slightly. To refresh poses always look in fashion magazines are Pinterest to find new ways to pose your client’s
Shocking Realities of the Photography Industry
· Everyone will NOT LIKE, OR ENJOY YOUR WORK PERIOD! IT DOESN’T MATTER QUIT FRANKLY, AS LONG AS YOUR CONFIDENT IN YOUR TALENT AND ALBILTY YOUR GOOD
· All of your photoshoot inquires WILL NOT LEAD TO BOOKINGS. Everyone that inquires will not book because every is not the right client for your business
· CONTRACTS ARE IMPORTANT THEY ARE MUTAL AGREEMENTS THAT WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND HELP YOU SET EXPECATIONS. CREATE YOUR OWN TERMS AND AGREEMENT CONTRACT
· PEOPLE WILL NOT ALWAYS VALUE YOU AS A PHOTOGTAPHER AND THAT’S FINE IT JUST MEANS THEY ARE NOT YOUR KIND OF CILENT PERIOD!
· YOU MUST FRIST BELIEVE IN YOURSLEF SO THAT OTHERS CAN FOLLOW SUIT
· All photographers don’t support each other some are competitive and don’t believe in community over competition
Only way to go is up and this is when you’re constantly producing great work and making all of your client’s happy. Just know that you’re learning, growing, experimenting, and journey never really ends. There is always ways to innovate with taking your work to the next level. The struggle grooms you for success .
Implementing Inspiration Boards within your Photography
Executing your vision as a photographer is a challenge that most photographers are faced with. So, how to do execute your vision to your client or model? What blueprint will you use to strength your visuals? Using inspirations boards will give you the photographer clear indication of what you want to convey in your photo-shoot. These are super fun to create and are easy to make as well!
I’ve seen many photographers making inspiration boards based of themed conceptual shoots. Example themes I’ve seen are GOOD VS EVIL, HIPPY HIGH SOCK THEME, BOHO THEME, basically anything the has a clear and focused concept.
What’s an Inspiration board?
A collection of images put together as a collage to give a photographer and the client visual representation of what’s expected for their shoot. Inspiration boards also can be used to show the cilent how to dress and mix and match outfits as well.
How do I make an Inspiration Board?
For mines I use a tool called blogstomp. It’s a program that allows you to make collages easy and fast! I go on Pinterest and the type what I’m looking for. For example if I’m looking for men’s fashion images, Boho photos, summer fashion, fitness photo etc. I grab the photos I love a combine them together.
Inspiration Boards Can be Used in Multi-ways
These are not only for photographers make-up artist can used these as well! To send to clients so that they can pick what images from they like to get an idea of what kind of make-up the client wants. insipration boards also can be used by any creative artist, web designers, graphic designers etc.
PLEASE NOTE INSPIRATION BOARDS ARE GUIDES TO HELP WITH YOUR VISION . I DON'T RECOMMEND GOING STRICTLY BY YOUR INSPIRATION BOARDS. USE THEM TO GET A GENERAL IDEA OF YOUR VISION AND BUT USE YOUR OWN SIGNATURE STYLE ON THEM
Inspiration Board Examples that I've created
An editorial style inspiration board i made for dressy looks
Summer Dressy Style Board Inspiration
Urban Style Inspiration Board
I hope this helps someone ! If you have any questions email me at email@example.com
As creatives we juggle with the idea of defining success. We wrongly do things like compare our work to other photographers, or we always look at what other photographers are doing. We compare things like the number of client’s another photographer shoots compared to how many we shoot. We also compare and contrast skills, pricing, and social media followings. When we should re-focus our time an energy on our work and developing or skills. In this blog, I will discuss ways in which photographers can define their success. Honestly, no one’s success is the same because your success is meant for you and no one else!
Simple Success Vs Complex Success
Simple success eludes to the idea of setting short term photography goals or achieving small milestones within your career. Goals examples can be mastering shooting backlight, scouting new locations, shooting a theme or style you have never shot before etc.
One example, of simple success can be just shooting 4 sessions successfully. What I mean by that is being professional and on point with posing, lighting, editing, client interaction. It also includes building a strong everlasting relationship with those 4 clients. Get to know them talk to them and make them feel important while shooting with them. This makes and big difference in your final images. Interacting behind the lens loosens them up and makes them comfortable with you. Therefore, will make them comfortable telling their friends and family and how great their session went with you. Which will lead to more buzz and clientele for your business. Remember you have to do great work with a small number of people before you can expand and shoot multiple clients successfully. It’s good to start small and work your way up the ladder.
Complex success eludes to the idea of setting long term photography goals or achieving bigger milestones within your career. Planning to attend a workshop for growth and expansion is a long term goal. In addition, to attending a workshop you can plan a styled concept shoot with a budget over a period of time.
One example, of complex success is hosting a shootout to build a community of photographers in your local area. This is a great idea because you can lead by example that photographers can ban together and support each other. Nothing is worse than the crab mentally. Everyone climbing to the top snatching each other by the legs. There is room for everyone to be successful in this crowded industry.
When finding inspiration for posing, lighting, composition, and editing techniques and styles look outside your genre of photography. The worst thing you can be inspired by is someone in your genre of photography. This equates to copy-cats and sameness. BORING! Find inspiration from fashion magazines, photography books, and Pinterest. Another thing I’m recently doing is creating inspiration boards for photoshoots. It’s easy make a collage of inspirational images based around a theme or themes for your shoot. This gives you a visual aid of what you want to create. You can send your boards to clients to help them dress and find clothes.
Your definition of success should be different from other photographers. What’s meant for one photographer isn’t meant for the other. Everyone’s photographic journey is different and unique. STOP comparing your success with others and define your own success. You can achieve this by setting goals and writing them down and checking them off a checklist.
- Shoot a concept shoot every month
- Make marketing flyers for the year
- Travel to two states to shoot in different locations
- Host focus group to better understand your clients
Finding the right client!
Not every client is a fit for your target demographic or audience. Don’t afraid to say NO TO POTENTIAL CILENTS. There are red flags they come up during the inquire process. If they keep asking about pricing they are bargain shopping red flag. If you quote them a price and they don’t respond RED FLAG MOVE ON! Know your worth and know that your prefect client won’t care about price but more about the experience of doing a shoot with you. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person it makes you wise. Save yourself from the potential problems or headaches. Write down what your ideal client is?
· What are their age?
· Where do they shop?
· What kind of person are they?
· Do you they see photography as more than pictures?
· Why should they hire you over other photographers?
· Sometimes your target client may not be in your city. They maybe an hour 2 hours away.
Never get to the point where you think you know everything about photography. Always be ready to grow and learn. When you’re comfortable you get too content and you become predictable. Growing as a creative involves taking chances and risk with your work. Shoot what you afraid to shoot try it and see what happens. Experiment with different light, subjects, locations, themes, and concepts. Get numb to the feeling of being un-comfortable so that you can transform as a person and a photographer. Be mindful and open minded!
Being a great photographer isn’t enough anymore
Being a competent photographer isn’t enough to get people to book you. This is a crowded industry with things like social media, filters, editing apps, and selfie sticks. The goal is to not sale just photographs, but to sell and overall experience. Anyone nowadays can get pretty pictures with today’s technology. Don’t only sell an experience sell yourself as person. When the person being photographed can attach a connection to the person photographing them. It makes the experience that more valuable and personal. Which, leads to a client spending more money.
How to make an experience?
· Play music to set the mood and shoot environment
· As you walking with your client to locations talk to them and ask questions
· Tell jokes and have fun behind the lens
· Interview your client and ask questions to feature on the blog you feature their session on
· Show some behind the camera photos to them
· Give compliments between poses to ensure them your shoot is going well
· Go out to eat with them afterwards
I hope this helps someone’s next blog will be about making a diverse portfolio
Alexis is no stranger to my blog or website. Sunday, June 26th 2016 we went to some urban locations to do some edgy portraits,,, This part 1.0 of a six part shoot series the next part will be shot in studio. The summer heat had us sweating like crazy, but the end result photos are beautiful... Heres the full session in its entirety.. We did three looks for this segment... Shout out to her boyfriend for helping me with my gear and reflectors...
Today i shot some head shots for the second Ryan i have worked with lol! He is a model that resides in J-TOWN KY , but he is moving to Los-Angeles in two weeks! I know without a doubt he is going to do very well modeling in LA West Hollywood! I can see it! Im excited to see whats next for him and his career! it was great working with him he's a very down to earth guy!!! Best wishes and congrats on re-locating to LA! Oh and also i cant wait to see your spread in that magazine!
Lavontre Skinner’s senior prom shoot was a pretty epic night! I go to experiment using studio lighting at the beautiful Seelbach Hilton Hotel here in Louisville, KY. The scenic historic architecture and flow of this establishment really helped me set a mood for their photos. I figured dark dramatic lighting with deep shadows and wrap around light would bring out them as subjects. What I mean by wrap around light is that the light wafts around their bodies head to toe. Also, the light is on them and everything else is under exposed while they are well exposed! Settings I used to achieve this light are 1/160th of a second shutter| f 10, f13, f14 apertures| ISO 100 and ISO 320. One alien Bee 800 mounted onto a light stand with a 43-inch Octabox Apollo Orb light modifier. Camera used Canon EOS 6D with a mix between 35mm 1.8 and a Canon 85mm 1.8 lenses.
Lavontre is graduating from Pleasure Park High School this year! I’m so proud of him and his accomplishments! I have worked with him extensively photography wise and I know he will go far in his feature endeavors.
These photos are so precious to me. I don't do family shoots like that, but i guess im going to have to start doing them. I've gotten several request for them! His birthday is a day before mines how cool! Im so late blogging these.
Hey, ladies and gentlemen. I know haven't blogged since last year. I apologize for that i've been busy with school and work. I will be blogging and doing more photoshoots this summer so stay tuned!
On, March 25th i did a Urban Photoshoot with model Ryan Harden. He is a native of Danville Illinois. He loves fitness and is very comfortable in front of the camera. He is also a part time college student at University Of Kentucky. These photos turned out way better than what i initially thought. Due to the cloudy, cold windy weather. I can shoot in any lighting scenario but clouds scare the hell out of me. Big shout to my friend/assistant Olinka for helping me with this shoot. Also, me and Ryan will be shoot again......
I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Thanks to each and every supporter of my work this year. Also huge thanks to everyone i've worked with this year. I appreciate you choosing me as a photographer of choice. I know their is a sea of photography in the Louisville Kentucky Area, but you choose me i'm honored. Im looking forward to 2016 i'm excited for all of the fresh faces that i'm working with next year! Ill be showcasing them and their photographs as well as interviewing them! Lets take a trip back in time! Ill compiled 15 images of 2015 that i feel are my best captures this year to date! Ill be doing this every year!
Photograph 1: I really like this photo because the light is soft and i love the warmth and natural earth and green tones in this image. I also, love how this image is backlit by the sun! I honestly, loved this whole session working with Ciara was great. We had fun and she looked beautiful doing so.
Photograph 2: The pose and warmth of this image is the die for. Not to mention the sharpness of the image. This shoot was such a last min shoot, but the result wore epic. This is collaboration at best! Sarah and Tez came through and let me set behind my lens and capture the falling in their element as models. Loved shooting this very different from anything ive shot! Who knew UOFL campus was so picturesque.
Photograph 3: This whole shoot was epic some of my best prom work like EVER!! I love this image because i switched up my white balance. Ive had been shooting images with cool tones. For this entire shoot i choose to stick with warm neutral tones. This shoot was so weird because me and Ignacio went up to peoples mansions and asked if we could shoot by their houses LOL! Good thing we did because i love shooting by their luxury homes.
Photograph 4: Shooting these 3rd birthday images for little Daylan made my heart melt. Seeing the bond between Tez and his son was heart warming. I was honored to have capture such a special moment. Kids only stay little for so long! This image speaks for itself we don't celebrate our black fathers that are doing great with their kids.
Photograph 5: I love this Green Vintage backdrop i used for this shoot. I loved shooting studio. Artificial light is so easy to use. I loved my 22 inch beauty dish for this shot. Im looking foward to shooting
Photograph 6: Working with Abdielis so fun. He is so funny. He is very down to earth. I like the image because the style is dressy and casual at the same time. The red looks good with his olive skin tone. Plus the light is soft due to the reflector we used the block the sun.
Photograph 7: This image is well lit plus its so edgy and is sexy without being too revealing , but yet her style is so classy and classic. This is a prime example of a urban shot done in the heart of downtown louisville. Plus working with Olinka im always laughing and having a good time.
Photograph 8: This image screams african queen! Like seriously the dressy and the amazing backlighting! The colors are so rich! Look at that BOKEH! ITS TO DIE FOR SERIOUSLY. FUN FACT: THIS IMAGE WAS SHOT IN MY FRONT YARD OF MY HOUSE. Doesn't look like it does it?
Photograph 9: This image is so boss. I love the patches of light that are lit on the leaves in this image. I believe i shoot this with a 200mm 2.8. I like how Robert looks so cooled and relaxed in this shot.
Photograph 10 : This image is has the golden dreamy golden glow that i love! The light is hitting my lens making it flare beautiful light and life into this image. This is one of my favorites
Photograph 11: Another shot with my exploring studio light. I love the mood of the image it feels so candid. Plus i dig the white on white.
Photograph 12: This image is looks like it belongs on the cover of a prom magazine. I love the neutral tones pose and his expression. He looks very natural in this shot.
Photograph 13: Had fun photographing my pastor he is so silly and he really looks like hes reading his bible in this ha!
Photograph 14: Isaiah is an amazing high jump athlete i had fun capturing him in his natural element
Photograph 15: I had to put my dog prince on here. He was six weeks here. He is such a cute little dog! LOL! He needs to be in a dog calendar for his breed!
Thanks for reading my blog have a safe happy NEW YEARS!!!
This is one of my favorite photo sessions ever! This shoot is very different from anything i have shot. To be honest, this shot was last minute and came out beautiful! These wore shot on the University Of Louisville's campus at 6:00pm. Enjoy the photos. More blogs, interviews, and photographer tips coming soon! Thanks for the support everyone!
Hey, ladies and gents i haven't blogged in a long time. Keontez has been one of my client's for awhile. Its always fun shooting with him. We laugh and have a good time like we are hanging out! Im so proud of this young man! Now he is signed to Heyman Talent agency. He is following his dreams at becoming a male model. Im happy to have taken apart in his journey. I wish him the best! I knew from the first time we did a shoot that he had potential. Honestly, this is what i want to do with my photography career. I want to help develop talent. I know models when i see them. When i saw Keontez he had the model look for sure. Be on the look out for more of his modeling with other photographers as well!
A, few weeks ago i did a studio shoot with Keontez. The theme for this studio shoot was edgy, fresh, and royalty. I used a variation of vintage and patterned backdrops for this shoot. This is my 3rd time shooting with Keontez. He is a natural and takes direction very well! We laughed had fun and even sweated our asses off. These wore shot in my garage believe or not doesnt look like it. It was hot ass hell in there! Thanks Keontez for baring the heat with me! These are some of the best studio shots i've done to date! More blogs and photo tips coming soon! Thanks to everyone for their support!
This Thursday, i had the pleasure of shooting with the lovely Ms. Ciara Gore. We planned and styled this shoot together. It was hot as heck that day! It felt like hell outside like literally! Despite, the heat it was well worth it because we captured some beautiful images by Cherokee Park here in Louisville Kentucky! Ciara is funny, fun and takes direction pretty well. She is in pursuit of becoming a model. I wish her the best with her career. Im sure she will go far. Sky is this limit. Im honored and i appreciate her for choosing me to help her with getting her portfolio together. Stay tuned ill be blogging more tips and tricks for photographers soon!
I shot some photos with Mr. David Willis last summer! Now, he is a very established male fitness model in New York City. Im so proud of what he has done and im glad i got a chance to work with him. He photographs very well and is a very nice down to earth person. Im sure he will continue to be successful as a model. Keep doing big things David!
I decided to blog Brevan's photos. Im behind on blogging me and him shot this last year. Brevan is a Class of 2015 graduate of Southern High School. He is a very talented dancer and he got accepted into a renown dance college in LA. Im proud of him and his accomplishments! He photographs very well and is one of the most unique sessions i've shot. Enjoy the images below! This shoot was cut short. but we shot in beautiful golden light. Im working on blogging more.